AW: What is your business philosophy?
Falk: I have a philosophy that my mom passed down to me. It's always: Shoot for the stars and never settle for second best. I tell my two daughters this now. To me, satisfaction is in trying to be the best you can be. I'm a highly self-motivated person. I'm also a great believer that the way you treat people is going to last long-term.
AW: What is the most difficult deal you've been able to pull off so far?
Falk: The Patrick Ewing trade. It took all summer to complete the deal. Because of my relationship with Patrick, I was really trying to get him what he wanted. He had one year left on his existing contract with the Knicks, and because his salary was so high, it made the trade very difficult. It involved 14 players with four different teams: Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. Because of the salary cap restrictions, Seattle wound up trading seven players to get Ewing. You're basically acting as a mediator with four teams, and you're trying to broker a deal amongst four people - each team trying to get a leg up and get the best deal they can. It gets very, very complicated. The hardest part was coming home to my daughters, who are big fans of Patrick. They kept asking if the deal was done yet.
AW: Do you feel like you came out ahead on that deal?
Falk: Honestly, I feel like everyone got a fair deal, which ultimately is your goal. When you know you are going to deal with these people over and over again, you're not here to scam anybody. The most important thing is that Patrick wanted a new home, and he got one in Seattle.
AW: Have you ever been intimidated by an athlete? Ever been star-struck?
Falk: When I first started out, it was a thrill to meet people like Arthur Ashe and Stan Smith. I'm a big fan of the people I work for, but I couldn't function in my job if I was really star-struck.